Jack and the Rexen

Our last weekend of the summer, Jack and I went to the Roger Williams Zoo. In addition to the wonderful elephants (one was completely submerged, using her trunk like a snorkel) and the perennial favorite naked mole rats ("Just like Rufus," sez Jack), there was a display of Jurassic animatronics. The accompanying "what killed the dinos" copy was fairly predictable, as the curators tried to hew a middle line among the Deccan Traps advocates and the Alvarez contingent. Rubber or not, it really does give you a different sense of them to stand in a clearing with one of the buggers in front of you.

Cory Doctorow responds to (alleged?) use of Palladium in the Mactel OS

I've been an Apple guy for as long as Cory -- used to say that I bled six colors, until that logo was deprecated -- but I think his concerns are spot on.
Via BoingBoing:
People working with early versions of the forthcoming Intel-based MacOS X operating system have discovered that Apple's new kernel makes use of Intel's Trusted Computing hardware. If this "feature" appears in a commercial, shipping version of Apple's OS, they'll lose me as a customer -- I've used Apple computers since 1979 and have a Mac tattooed on my right bicep, but this is a deal-breaker.

The wonderful Daily Kos wikipedia...

Okay, so I'm probably the last person to find this, but I'm blogging it anyway. Wonderful political encyclopedia/jargon resource capturing the wisdom of the DailyKos community.

Check out the DKosopedia : "a collaborative project of the DailyKos community to build a political encyclopedia. The dKosopedia is written from a left/progressive/liberal/Democratic point of view while also attempting to fairly acknowledge the other side's take. It was started in April of 2004, and currently consists of 3015 articles."

Father's Day with Thomas and friends at Edaville

The local tourist train-slash-kiddie park in Carver MA, the Edaville Railroad, was featuring Thomas the Tank Engine® and friends this weekend. We took Jack up for father's day and Jack had a blast.



Jack gets gymnastics medal...

The Newport County YMCA does a wonderful end-of-year show and ceremony for all the kids in gymnastics classes and teams, and Jack got to stand up on a podium and get a medal tonight.

It was one of those packed house, everybody clapping, parents-snapping-away events where everyone goes home happy. Jack was very proud and can't wait until classes start again in the Fall.

[Posted with ecto]

Steve Jobs, deep personal and way meta, from the Stanford commencement

It's been heavily blogged, but the wisdom of Jobs's address is profound. And while a lot of folks have picked up on the death thing, I was struck more by the serendipity example. Jobs quit college, but kept dropping in to calligraphy classes at Reed, driven by pure aesthetic interest, only to have typography become, years later, the linchpin of the Mac's success. Jobs:

"Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

Read the whole address at Stanford University.

[Posted with ecto]

Downing street gets a site -- Conyers has almost 500K signatures...

For anyone who needs a quick catch-up on what the American media has been ignoring — now there's a resource site devoted to the Downing Street Memo Or, of course, you can check it out at Wikipedia.

Heard this afternoon that Conyers had almost all of the 500k signatures on his petition to investigate. Good thing Fox has the Michael Jackson trial to distract them.

[Via BoingBoing]

Moleskine -- flash, function, or fetish?

Okay, okay, I know I'm wading into a religious war here, but I'm just too stupid to keep my mouth shut. Am I really the only one who thinks the emperor has no clothes?

About once a year I need a new sketchbook, and based on all the chatter in the blogosphere about these famous little critters, I checked them out. My criteria lean toward the functional: good paper for a range of media — pencil, ink pens, and rapidograph — and a compact form factor.

While the size, exterior design, and fit & finish of the notebook and sketchbook are superb, the paper choices are just puzzling. The sketchbook paper is very hard, thick and stiff, and the unlined notebook paper is so thin that one can write on only one side of the page (and can clearly expect bleedthrough.)

Really spent time with it in the store. Rubbed the paper. Imagined using it. Even lit a candle and Dreamed of Famous Literary Figures scribbling Big Important Texts. The awesome beauty of the Moleskine experience...

Not a sausage. Went to Walden and bought my usual Sketchbook-brand sketchbook, $3.99 on the knockoff table. Shrug. I'm a heathen.

Far from the Madding Cow...

Friday night, USDA officials announced a second confirmed case of BSE in a 9-year-old downer steer from Texas. Not good news for US consumers — who have so far remained dolefully ignorant of the risks — or for cattle producers, suffering from a ban on beef exports to the rest of the world, which actually pays attention to science.

From the Washington Post: "Japan, where more than 15 cows have tested positive for mad cow disease, now tests every cow slaughtered. Its government has asked U.S. producers to do the same, but the U.S. government has said the universal testing was not necessary."

One [dismissable as imported] cow is circumstance. Two are coincidence. Three... uh...well, that's why we're not looking very hard...

[Posted with ecto]

The Downing Street memo gets some pickup

At least the Washington Post is continuing to poke around this story. In this piece, they pick up on the connection between the timing of the memo and John Bolton's successful efforts to get a key UN chemical weapons inspector fired.

Where, though, is the wider coverage? Why are we not above the fold in the Gray Lady? Where's the followup to Elisabeth Bumiller's piece — oh, wait, I guess none is necessary, since Bush's comment is "There's nothing farther from the truth." That settles that.

In Congress, where it can be conveniently dismissed as partisan wrangling, at least a few are standing up. Gotta love John Conyers (D-MI) letter to Bush, "I deplore the fact that our media have been so reticent on the question of whether there was a secret planning of a war for which neither the Congress nor the American people had given permission. "

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